Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Liturgy of St Patrick's Day Appropriation

Archdruid: Top of the Morning to Ye!

All: To be sure, to be sure.

Hymn: Lord of the Dance (Flatley)

Archdruid: Ah; Irish dancing. Like an antidote to Charismatics.

Voice from the back: What about the Charismatic Catholics?

Archdruid: Sssh.

Hymn: My Lovely Horse

Archdruid: We've got to lose that sax solo.

All: Drink!  Drink!  Drink!

Archdruid: You lot been drinking already?
All: Ted - we mean, Eileen - we've been drinking like mad eejits.

Archdruid: Now a time of reflection as we consider all that has happened since last St Patrick's Day

Hymn: What's another Year? (Logan)

Child who asks Liturgical Questions, a bit like Passover Only Obviously We're Not Jewish: Why do we celebrate St Patrick's Day when we're nearly all English?

Archdruid: O "Child who asks Liturgical Questions, a bit like Passover Only Obviously We're Not Jewish" - the answer is clear. St George was a Turkish knight who killed a dragon in Egypt and is celebrated in England and also Georgia. As such he is multi cultural, a symbol of the great melting pot of acceptance and tolerance that is modern England.  And deeply boring on the same count. Whereas Patrick is Irish...

All: Actually, no. He's English. May even be from Towcester, would you believe.

Archdruid ...As i say, Patrick is Irish. And as such, a symbol of fun, craic, being at ease with oneself and yet simultaneously being aware  of deep spiritual truth. We English - devoid of spiritual heritage apart from singing psalms in a technique we don't understand in cold buildings - we look into the well of our spiritual emptiness, and throw everybody else's spirituality in to make ourselves feel spiritually authentic.

All: Ouch. Do you mind if we play some bodhrans to cheer ourselves up after that piece of painful truth?

Archdruid: To be sure. And don't forget to pick up a blow-up Leprechaun from the Beaker Bazaar. Double price while St Patrick's Day lasts.


May the sun beat down on your head, unless you're thin on top in which case wear a hat.
May the snails not crunch under your feet on foggy days.
May catering lorries give you a wide enough space to cycle safely.
May the black stuff be black
And your whiskey spelt with an "e".
May the craic flow
And gentle winds blow
And the gentle rain not seep in through your eaves, causing a persistent and annoying damp problem
Until we meet again.


  1. This Patrick who is English, he would be one of those Liturgical Anachronists, would he? (One of the joys of Naturalisation is that it is straightforward to become British, but impossible to become English.)

  2. Actually the new thinking is that he was Welsh!! :)

  3. Re: the "Garlic Dressing", I can't believe it's not Rutter.

  4. I was brought up by my father to family rumours that we were Irish by descent, just because a grandmother had an Irish (or it could even be Scots name). My father conveniently forgot that my mother has the name MacGXXXXX and who spoke with a fairly broad glaswegian acccent (or so I'm told). So, that rumoured Irish ancestry moves closer to the Gorbals. But, he continued to drink the black stuff and whiskey despite his having been born in London of a long line, whose ancestry goes back in Holborn, Shoredtich and other ill assorted East end places too 1579 and than continues further back in Buckinghamshire till at least the 1400's.

    I suspect that the Irish connections alluded too, were in fact due to the military types our family seems to sport, who perhaps indulged over the generations in a bit of rape and pillage across the water as it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do, as long as you didn't bring back anything that was catching.

    But, he in denial, produced his trump card - he was a Catholic. Which must mean that we were Irish, given the history of persecution. Faced with family research, which proved that his own parents married in an Anglican Church in 1901, that his grandparents did the same and all the way back to Buckinghamshire, he protested that they couldn't marry in Catholic Church due to the persecution of the Papists by the Anglicans since Henry's time. When handed proof that Catholics were emancipated in 1837 - he said, yes, but it took them a while to get used to it???

    By this time, I was beginning to think that perhaps an Irish Cuckoo might have been inserted into the nest about 1923, because his conviction seemed to be embedded. I gave it a rest than and just let him go on about it for the rest of his life, but ensured that he had both an Anglican funeral and a Catholic memorial service, just to satisfy both types of God.


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